Hey, look at this:
Last weekend, Tengrain from Mock, Paper Scissors was doing the Blog round-up at Crooks and Liars, and linked to my RNC#FAIL post. When I logged into the dashboard, it freaked me the fuck out. It looked like my stats were flipping me off. Now that I put it that way, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. Anyway, thanks, TG!
So, the DNC hasn’t had any drunks giving speeches (yet, Clinton is yet to come, HA!). Just a nun. And some lady who is married to some guy from Hawaii. BO-RING. I did, however, think I saw a couple of crates of pork rectums on the side of the stage. Who let the Republicans in?
—although I think Al Franken is on his way to hammered. He’s diagramming a jobs chart with his hands. Drink up, Al!—
OK. Moving on. Getting a new drink. So Al won’t be lonely, you see.
It is a cliche that architects despise Architectural Review Boards, due to the infringement on Genius Design Fountainhead Artiste. For my part, I don’t have a problem with ARBs on their own, I view them as part of the process and usually want to work with them collaboratively, as I do with most of the other team on projects. Some ARBs have a tendency to be populated by folks who may not be knowledgeable, but have axes to grind, and those can be kind of hard to deal with. (synchronicity! Bill Clinton just said that in the real world, what works is cooperation)
In town here, there has been one very strong, educated, and opinionated ARB, in the Third Ward. I have done a lot of projects there, and sometimes been at odds with them; but eventually we got things done, and even accomplished kewl things:
There’s a new ARB in town, though, on the East Side. And Tuesday, the developer and I presented our project:
Yeah, I know, you all saw that before. And fish will be around to drive-by mock it before long.
But the existing building is an existing 1912 era commercial building, originally an auto dealership and garage, that had been converted to a mall and been mostly vacant for the last decade. It occupies a very prominent spot on a major arterial, in a busy local business district (located just a few blocks from Chez Zombie, truth be told) and the BID was very concerned about the disposition of the site, knowing that it occupies a key site.
we talked about the need for this to be a signature building. We talked about how you add four stories to a one and half story historic building (one of the ARB members is a former architecture prof of mine. It felt a bit like the old days in studio, presenting a project). We talked about the relationships to the neighboring buildings, the relationship to the street, the relationship to history.
The ARB was a pleasure to talk with, they were knowledgeable and open and visibly concerned with the neighborhood, as they all lived and worked there too. we talked coffee.
As we discussed the conceptual design, the members were doubtful at first concerned about the unusual configuration of the addition; as the plans and elevations were discussed, the logic behind the dramatic design concept and the aesthetics of old vs. new, one could see the members of the board coming to acknowledge the project’s appropriateness and even coming up with some positive aspects we did not present.
We will have to go back with much more detail, colors and materials and such for final approvals; but for now, the ARB voted unanimously in approval of the project. Afterwards, they came up to us separately (including my prof) to tell us directly how much they liked the design and were now excited about what most people assumed was a tear down/ vacant site for the foreseeable future.
Yeah, we kind of rocked it.